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PRESS RELEASE: CIJA Welcomes Government of Ontario Action to Combat Antisemitism in Schools

Jul 5, 2021 | Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 5, 2021

Toronto, ON – Today, Ontario’s Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, announced the province’s plan to counter rising antisemitism in schools and communities. Partnering with the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies, the Government of Ontario will introduce new training initiatives, resources for educators, and supports for students to combat antisemitism.

The initiative is one of several equity-related projects as part of the Safe Return to Class Fund, including funding to address anti-Asian and anti-Black racism, Islamophobia, as well as support for Black, Indigenous, and 2SLGBTQI+ students.

In response, Noah Shack, Vice President, GTA, CIJA, issued the following:

“Antisemitism is an enormous challenge for schools across the province. Over the past several years, young Jewish children have witnessed rising levels of hate, both virtually and in person. Bullying, vandalism, and hateful discourse targeting Jewish youth creates an unsafe learning environment and compels children to mask their Jewish identity. This is a realty that no Canadian should accept.

“CIJA welcomes today’s announcement as we experience an unprecedented spike in antisemitic incidents. As a society, we must commit ourselves to uprooting all forms of hate and discrimination, starting in our schools. Measuring the extent of the problem is an essential step. We continue our call for the Ministry of Education to require school boards to report annually on incidents of hate and discrimination. This data should include information on the nature of the bias, prejudice, or hate that motivated the incident.

“We look forward to continuing our work to support boards, teachers, and families in pushing back against the world’s oldest form of hate.”

Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of Canada’s Jewish Federations, including UJA Federation of Greater Toronto 

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